Turning a quarter of a century old can be a daunting thing – hello, you’re halfway to 30 (assuming we’re counting from our 20s, that is)! That’s why in honour of my 25th birthday I’ve asked twenty-five women who I find inspirational in my life to give me their thoughts on 25 things every woman should know by 25.
When I was a child I thought that being 25 meant having a hot husband, a huge mansion and a kick-ass career. I’m currently on my way to one of those three things – can you guess which? – and am happy as a clam figuring out the rest in good time.
No matter what age you are, these women have advice that we can all use. From travel tips to life decisions and not giving a f@<! what people think about you, I can tell you right now I’m already putting these tips towards having the best 25th year ever.
So caio for now – I’m off to blow out my candles and ring in 25 with a bang!
25 things every woman should know by 25
Name: Hilary MacMillan
Occupation: Womenswear Designer
Advice: “Learn the importance of saying no and do things you want to do not what other people expect you to do.”
Name: Mya Harrison (Miss Mya)
Advice: “There’s hope – people do it all the time. Keep working.” – Her advice to me when I told her my dream is to travel and be able to work from my laptop wherever I go.
Name: Anjli Patel
Occupation: Fashion Lawyer
Advice: “At some point in your life you will experience Impostor Syndrome, which is what happens when you make something look easy to do and also discount its value. Here’s the good news: you’re not alone, and it gets better. That fear subsides with time. You will begin to believe what everyone else already knows to be true — that you are not a fraud.”
Name: Jaimie Lewis
Advice: “Fuck what anyone else in the world thinks or says. Do what makes you the happiest you, then figure out the rest.”
Name: Jenny Swank Krasteva
Occupation: Senior Head of Creative for HUGO Womenswear at Hugo Boss
Advice: “On my 25th birthday, a dear friend told me ‘Congratulations. You are now too old to die young.’ Morbid? Maybe. Hysterical? Absolutely. Sadly, he had a point. At 25, I wish I’d had someone to help me put these things in check:
1. Create opportunities for yourself.
2. Never. Stop. Learning.
3. If you think you know everything there is to know about what you are doing, you’re doing something wrong.
5. Find what inspires you and do that. The rest is all bullshit anyway.
6. If you get frustrated and angry at work, it means you’re still passionate about what you are doing. Stay.
7. Blur those work/life boundaries to create the most authentic you.
8. Talk to people. In person. Gain perspective.
9. Travel. As much as you can. Gain more perspective.
10. Lastly, never underestimate the power of a cliché. They are always true and always funny.”
Name: Hannah Yakobi
Age: Early 30s
Advice: “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Know the difference. It will help make rational decisions, and avoid unnecessary heartache/stress.”
Name: Lisa Cross
Advice: “Be authentically YOU. Don’t mold yourself to fit other people’s ideas or expectations. Don’t waste one more day subjugating your core feelings and beliefs to please other people. Allow your inner self to unfold out into the world for everyone who meets you to see, hear, and know. Your relationships will be more satisfying for the lack of pretense. By only engaging the world in an authentic way – you will draw people into your life who are attracted to the essence of the REAL you. And, by example, you’ll give others permission to do the same.”
Name: Nicole Fajardo Almanzor
Age: Early 30s
Advice: “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Nothing great ever really comes from staying in your comfort zone. After all, if you want to go to places you’ve never been before you have to do things you’ve never done before.”
Name: Jeanne Beker
Occupation: Television Personality
Advice: “Don’t waste your time/energy/heart on those who don’t really appreciate you.”
Name: Katherine Phan
Advice: “By 25 every girl should know how to travel on their own. Throw caution to the wind and just go.”
Name: Catherine Ryczkiewicz
Occupation: E-Commerce Business Owner
Advice: “On a piece of paper write down the answer to the following questions: 1. What do you envision in your life in order to make it complete? 2. If a doctor tells you, you have four years to live what would you do in that time? 3. What if the doctor said you only have six months? The answers are a list of your dreams, accomplishments, needs, desires and fantasies that are part of what you envision in your life at that moment. I started making time for all the items on my list and I found happiness. Do not let impracticality weigh down your dreams either – the sky is the limit!”
Name: Deborah Clay
Occupation: News Director
Advice: “When it comes to career goals, be as specific as possible. Become a passionate advocate and master of your chosen field.”
Name: Nicole Gretes
Occupation: Business Owner
Advice: “Take every opportunity and chance that comes your way and work your hardest at every single thing you do, small and large!”
Name: Michell Barker
Advice: “Don’t be ashamed about anything that you’ve done or have gone through. Design the person that you want to be and become her and don’t settle. If you want to be a fashionista then be a fashionista, if you want to be a historian then be a historian, if you want to be a socialite or traveller then be those things or be all of those things if you want to be. But whatever you decide to be, be the best and don’t let people talk you down into their own mediocrity in your professional career, relationships, money etc. Be excellent and high quality in every area of your life. Honour people and only hang out with people that honour you back and are kind and good to you. Listen to your instincts. If something is off then listen to that feeling and let that person go. Don’t worry – someone better will come along shortly.”
Name: Danielle Houston
Occupation: Creative Director, BY DANILEA
Advice: “Let’s get real. We all have dreams and aspirations but the ONLY way to achieve them is to be present. To work hard now. Not tomorrow, not next week or year. Right now. And wherever you are in your life is exactly where you are supposed to be. Don’t rush it, but embrace the journey. It’s easy to wish for another life or to jump ahead 5 years, but all that will get you is lost time. There is no future without the present, so just be. Be you.”
Name: Harriet McCready
Occupation: Freelance Writer
Advice: “You should be reckless! Yes, now is the time to make big life decisions based on your heart, not your head. Been dreaming of eating a croissant in Paris? Book your ticket! Think your job sucks? Quit! Want to go back to school? Enrol now. Seriously, in your early 20s you have very few responsibilities except paying your phone bill on time. So go ahead and do something crazy. Your 30 year old self will thank you.”
Name: Paola Silk
Occupation: Owner, SHILANGO.COM
Advice: “Study whatever make you hearts beat. No matter what it is. But also have a part time job while you’re still studying full time. That trains you about real life after school.”
Name: Cristina Alcivar
Advice: “Trust, embrace and put faith in your fellow women.”
Name: Andrina Stan
Occupation: Life Strategist
Advice: “As women, we tend to rely on men for the heavy stuff like finances, investing, and money management. Being present in your life is related to much more than being aware of your emotions and your self worth – it is also being aware of where you stand professionally and financially. Besides knowing your worth and constantly working on yourself, I think any woman should know the different between making money, saving money, and managing money. Make money by asking for what you are worth and having multiple streams of income. Save money by knowing when to stop spending on useless crap that brings clutter to your life – like 50 dresses you will never wear twice. And manage money by educating yourself on what is worth investing in, and what is purely overpriced. Stay gorgeous inside and out, keep a curious mind, and aspire to experience life through both you primary and intellectual senses.”
Name: Sherlyn Torres
Occupation: Make-up and Hair Artist
Advice: “Make peace with your past and trust the timing of your life.”
Name: Angelic Vendette
Occupation: Digital Marketer and Fashion Journalist
Advice: “Relationships matter. Widen and cultivate your circle of relationships and maintain them. This will require some effort, but the investment is definitely worth it. Life isn’t your college days when all you had to do was share a beer with a stranger at a party to immediately become BFF’s. You will want real genuine people to converse with and create memories with, who will be there for you in the good times and the bad. Building meaningful relationships take time but they are absolutely critical to your happiness… plus who knows, you might land a dream job through a contact, meet your future husband through a friend, or even get to know your parents like you never thought you would.”
Name: Jennifer Lee Dawson
Advice: “‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ Take risks because you will never know if you don’t try.”
Name: Alyssa Weiss
Occupation: Founder, Travel Beauty
Advice: “Be self aware. You are not going to know everything and that’s ok but you need to be cognizant of your strengths and weaknesses. When making important decisions, whether it be related to career, family, health or friends, know when to ask for help. If it’s a topic that you are not familiar with, solicit the help of someone that is. Even if its an issue that you feel confident addressing, another point of view can only be helpful.”
Name: Laura Cooper
Occupation: Model Agent, Coultish Management
Advice: “Something I wished I had understood by the time I was 25 is that to be truly happy you have to live your life in the way that is best for you; not the way you think others expect you to. Many women worry about what others think of them, but the truth is that others rarely think about you because they are too busy doing what is best for their own lives! Live your life with purpose and intention and look for ways to make yourself happy and fulfilled!”
Name: Georgina McKerrow
Age: (a tad over 25)
Occupation: TV Journalist
Advice: “Know how to walk away. I left a perfectly good job at 25 to pursue another one. Dress up, stand up and just do it. Whether it’s from an unhappy workplace, a bad relationship or from a bar at 2am… If it’s no longer making you smile, just walk. Once you take the first step you will wonder why you sat there thinking about it for so long.”
Last but not least, I thought I’d share some advice that I’ve learned during my 25 years on earth.
Don’t spend too much time dwelling on things because you never know how quickly they can change. Take every opportunity and be open to new, exciting and amazing adventures. Cherish life, love with your whole heart and don’t let people change you.
Thanks to all these phenomenal women who gave me their thoughts on 25 things every woman should know by 25. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without a lot of this advice!
WHAT I’M WEARING:
striped dress | ROMWE
vintage fringed jacket | BEACON’S CLOSET
strappy sandals | TONY BIANCO
choker | DIY WITH VINTAGE BROOCH
All photos taken by Morgan Cross at Brentwood Bay, British Columbia. You can also find her on Facebook here and follow her on Instagram here.